Have you recently started selling on Etsy? Do you feel like you have the word ‘NOOB’ written all over your face? And somehow everyone can see it but you???
Don’t worry. Every single last person on Etsy was once a brand new seller. SO…I’m going to hand down some tidbits of truth that you can actually use.
As it turns out, there IS formula for Etsy success. And you’re going to learn it, one step and a time, starting with the 5 things you need to know as a new Etsy seller:
1. Etsy Success IS NOT INSTANT. Stop Expecting Overnight Success.
Tell the truth…you listed your first item on Etsy and expected it to be sold out the next day, didn’t you?
We all secretly hope that we’re selling the most brilliant thing that ever existed, and it’s GOOD that you get excited about your products.
But the Internet, despite what it tells you, does not just dole out instant success to anyone who asks for it.
In fact, the cards are stacked against you. This WILL be an uphill battle in the beginning. And you need to be prepared for it.
So get overnight success OUT of your head. LUCK won’t have a single thing to do with your success. It’s going to take months and months for your shop to grow.
Rather than freaking out about the fact that you didn’t make a sale today, focus on these steps instead, and sales will come:
- Make sure you have a full shop. Buyers love variety, and an empty shops look shady. Fill your shelves and focus on adding new products each month.
- Start preparing for the future now. Get yourself a Pinterest business account, and start promoting your new items. Building your audience now, so you can make sales later.
- Learn how Etsy SEO works and make it your new best friend. SEO will get your products to the top of the pile faster.
- Truly evaluate your shop. Be critical of yourself. If you’re able to be realistic and use criticism to make positive, realistic changes in your business, you’ll always have the upper hand. Try this challenge to get some perspective.
2. Social Media is useless until you’ve built an audience
Yeah, I said it. Let’s all stop lying to ourselves while we cram social media up every corner of our business, mmkay?
DON’T expect sales and fireworks just because you’ve joined social media…the point of social media is to build an audience. Be strategic.
You need to interact every single day. (Notice I didn’t say POST every single day! Once again, that was INTERACT). And don’t just post your products on repeat. Offer value. Interact with others. Comment, like, and PARTICIPATE. If you don’t, social media will never do anything for you.
At this point you’re probably thinking: This bitch is crazy. Does she actually expect me to spend all my time on social media?? That’s the worst advice I’ve ever heard!
Here’s the KEY: Work on one platform at a time, and devote yourself to that platform. Learn the ins and outs, take free webinars, get those tricks down and have an audience you can bring with you when you’re ready to add new networks.
I spent a year building up my social media, and only now that my followers are in the thousands, am I seeing any results.
Here’s how it goes: Instagram followers buy my Etsy products and sometimes stumble across my blog and chill there for a bit.
Pinterest is INSANELY useful for the Etsy shop. Pinterest goes nuts if you pin something about 200 times. (Seriously. I am not kidding. Stop pinning your shit once and expecting the world to see it. Space it out with a scheduler like this one*). Or, read this article about how I use Pinterest to make a sale a day on Etsy.
(Link has a * next to it? That’s an affiliate or referral link, you can claim a free trial of this item if you click the link. Full disclosure: I get a small commission, but only if you decide to spend money on this item. Wanna know more? Click here to open my Affiliate Policy in a new tab).
Facebook pages aren’t what they used to be. I use my Facebook business account to run ads over Christmas. (Other than that, it’s useless. Don’t focus your energy on a Facebook page).
And twitter…well, that is a bit of an enigma to me still to this day. Remember: there will always be something left to learn about social media. And it changes constantly. So don’t overwhelm yourself with more networks that you can’t keep up with. (Like I did…oops!)
3. If you have any doubts about your images, you’re screwed.
(Ok, a bit dramatic, but not entirely false).
Do you look at your product images and think, “yeah they’re OK.” Guess what? OK isn’t good enough.
This is Etsy, not Ebay. Buyers are looking for unique, one-of-a-kind goodies. THAT LOOK AMAZING. And feel boutique-y.
You need to take one look at your images and go “Holy F*ck, I’m awesome!”
That doesn’t mean you need to be a pro photographer. I use tools to make my photos better. One of my favorites is clipping magic, which allows you to remove the background from your photos. Then you can add in a clean, crisp white background without needing a lightbox or a degree in Photoshop.
When I first started, I really struggled to take good photographs. SO…for those of you like me: try using product mockups* to sell your items. These work best for items like art prints, mugs, or t-shirts. You just purchase a mockup, drop in your design, and you have a professional photo for about $15.
I used this method when I first got started because only a crazy person would invest in a photoshoot before they’ve sold a single item. I was not about to invest in my business without proof that people wanted what I was selling.
And it was the right decision…product mockups* got me through my first year on Etsy…and helped me make over 1200 sales!
4. Buyers can smell your desperation
If you’re trying to post 300 new products this month just so you’ll get found…Or throwing items up even though you know they’re not your best work…Buyers CAN smell your desperation. You deliberately lower the bar (and the perceived value of your items) when you scrape and struggle for any sale that comes your way.
Stop selling yourself short. Don’t half-ass things just to get it done. That’s how businesses fail (and you wind up back in a shitty cubicle with a bottle of vodka in your bottom drawer).
This is your shot: it’s time to do the best work you’ve ever done.
Because if you’re not going to work your ass off for yourself, then you might as well just give up now. #sorrynotsorry.
5. Are you in this for the long haul?
It’s time to act like it. Half the new sellers I meet are hesitating to invest in new equipment (or courses) because it feels expensive. Trust me, if it’s under $200, you’re holding yourself back. Treat your business like a business. You won’t go bankrupt over $200. Choose a couple of items that would make a world of difference, and give them a shot.
The first piece of equipment I bought was a large-scale professional inkjet printer. It took me a month to invest in this thing, even though I had the money (and it was on sale).
As soon as I started offering items I made with my new printer, my sales TRIPLED. This one printer skyrocketed my business literally overnight, and I lost a month of sales because I was “scared” to pull the trigger.
Trust yourself. Support your own ideas.
Here’s the bottom line about success on Etsy:
If you’re willing to put in actual effort…and stop expecting instant gratification…you’ll be kicking that day job of yours to the curb before you know it!
Read me Next, I come recommended!
Want to know exactly what it takes to make thousands of sales? Watch ← this interview with a top Etsy seller and steal her strategies for your shop!
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Thanks for Reading!
Hi there, my name is Jenni. You’re reading about the Etsy shop that freed me from the worst job I’ve ever had (and a lifetime of working for somebody else).
Find out what went down here.
Hey guess what? The exact tricks that got me 6-figures sales are waiting for you in the Ultimate Guide to Etsy. This is a 40-page, step-by-step MEGA tutorial that will help you strategize your way to more sales.